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Confirmed: The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a nightmare to repair

Samsung has thrown everything into the $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra, except a repair-friendly design.

Published onMarch 5, 2020

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra teardown according to iFixit.

Flagship smartphones have been tough to repair for years now, owing to water resistance requirements and a general aversion towards DIY repairs. Unfortunately, it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra continues this trend.

Repair company iFixit has disassembled the top-end Samsung flagship, giving the phone a repairability score of three out of 10. This is in line with the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus teardown, and it seems like the same issues popped up here.

iFixit noted that every Galaxy S20 Ultra repair starts with “painstakingly” ungluing the rear glass cover, and this isn’t the only glue-related issue. The team felt that replacing the glued down battery was harder than ever, also noting that you have to work around interconnect cables.

Cracked the screen? Well, the teardown reveals that display repairs require a complete teardown or replacing “half the phone.”

It wasn’t all bad though, as iFixit says the phone’s screws are all Phillips screws and can’t be mixed up. They also noted that many components were modular and could be replaced independently, although they lamented the potential for extra wear on the USB-C port due to the lack of a 3.5mm port.

Is Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra as durable as you expect a $1,400 phone to be?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra durability test.

Furthermore, the teardown also gave us a good look at various components, including the mmWave antennas, the periscope camera, and the gigantic 108MP sensor. Check out the gallery above for a look at them.

Hopefully we see manufacturers embracing a more repair-friendly approach in the near future, especially as the EU reportedly wants to force OEMs to make battery replacements easier.

How important is ease of repair to you when buying a smartphone? Give us your thoughts below.

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